‘Game of Thrones’ Finale: Why it Doesn’t Feel Satisfying That Bran is King

Game of Thrones has come to an end and all of our questions have been answered (OK, some of our questions have been answered). The most burning of all being: Who will sit on the Iron Throne? The answer, we now know, is none other than Bran the Broken. The little boy who was pushed out of a tower window to hide an incestuous secret, who became the Three Eyed Raven and quit wanting.

Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark) | Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark) | Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images

It was Tyrion’s suggestion. He had a lot of time to think about who’d make for the most fitting, benevolent ruler of Westeros as he sat in the cell Daenerys’s men threw him into. He eventually landed on Bran, the keeper of Westeros’s stories. Tyrion argued that Bran’s inability to have children was one of the best reasons to name him king. No son of his would rise up to fill his father’s shoes, no matter his abilities as a ruler. His speech was enough to convince the group to unanimously vote Bran into the position. Sansa, however, had one condition: the North must remain an independent kingdom where the Starks would continue to rule as they had been for thousands of years. Bran, a Stark himself, obliged. He also banished Jon Snow to the (now seemingly pointless?) Night’s Watch to live an adventurous life beyond the wall with Ghost and the free folk, or what’s left of them.

Did Bran know he was going to be King of Westeros?

The Three Eyed Raven knows all of Westeros’s history and present, but he cannot see into the future. At least, that’s what audience members have understood to be true up until this point. Bran’s “Why do you think I came all this way?” line in response to the question of whether he’d like to be king is confusing, then. Sure, he could just be giving a little shoutout to destiny, but the line does make it sound a little bit like he knew this was going to happen. Whether he knew fully or not, he definitely knew he was headed in the direction of fulfilling some grand duty. Why else would he have survived so long when someone like Daenerys has to die?

Why it feels less-than-satisfying that Bran is King of Westeros

While Bran has been an important character, he wasn’t necessarily a fan-favorite. The Game of Thrones audience just wasn’t as invested in Bran and what happened to him once he began his Three Eyed Raven transition. Game of Thrones is a show built on characters and character relationships. Bran lost a lot of his character when he became the Three Eyed Raven. We watched characters like Sansa, Jon, Arya, and even Cersei and Jaime go through and come out the other side of unspeakable horrors. We watched them change, grow, get worse, get better. We were incredibly invested. If a character like that would have ended up on the throne, we all just would have felt a little more.    

Read more:‘Game of Thrones’ Finale: Jon Snow Actor Says Fans Are ‘In Denial’ About Who Daenerys Really Was